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Sinaloa (spanish pronunciation [si'naloa]) is one of the 31 states of Mexicomarker, located in the northwestern part of the country. The state is bordered to the north by Sonoramarker and Chihuahuamarker; to the south, by Nayaritmarker; to the east by Durangomarker, and to the west, across the Gulf of California, Baja California Surmarker. The state extends throughout a territory of 57,377 sq. kilometers, and exerts control over the Islands of Palmito Verde, Palmito de la Virgen, Altamira, Santa Maria, Saliaca, Macapule and San Ignacio.

Capital of the state is Culiacanmarker, other important cities include Los Mochismarker and Mazatlanmarker.

Geography and environmnet

The coastal plain is a narrow strip of land that stretches along the length of the state and lies between the ocean and the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental Range, which dominates the eastern part of the state. Sinaloa is traversed by many rivers, which carve broad valleys into the foothills. The largest of these rivers are the Culiacán, Fuerte, and Sinaloa.

Sinaloa has a warm climate on the coast side, moderate-warm in the valleys and lower mountainskirts, moderate-cold in small mountains and cold in the high ones. Its weather characteristics vary from subtropical, found on the plains, to cold in the nearby mountains. Temperatures range from 22°C to 43°C with rains during the summer.

There are numerous species of plants and animals within Sinaloa. Notable among the tree species is the iconic Elephant tree, Bursera microphylla.


Culturally, it is known for a style of music known as banda, and corrido is also popular. It is the only place in the continent where the ancient ball game of Mesoamerica is still played, in a handful of small, rural communities not far from Mazatlánmarker. The ritual ball game was central in the society, religion and cosmology of all the great Mesoamerican cultures including the Mixtecs, Aztecs, and Maya.

The Sinaloa version of the ball game is called ulama; the consensus is that it is faithful to the original game. There are efforts to avoid the extinction of this 3500-year old unique tradition by supporting the communities and children who still play it.


According to the latest population census dating back to 2005, the state of Sinaloa is home to 2,608,442 inhabitants, 60% of which reside in the capital city of Culiacanmarker and the municipalities of Mazatlanmarker and Ahome. It is a young state in terms of population, 56% of which is younger than 30 years.

Other demographic particulars report 87% of the state following the catholic faith; 1% of those over five years of age speaking an indigenous dialect together with the Spanish language; the main ethnic groups still residing in the state are the Mixtecs and Maya, followed by the Nahuatl and the Zapotecs; and finally, life expectancy in the state follows the national tendency of higher rates for women than men, a difference of almost five years in the case of Sinaloa, at 72.5 and 77.4 years respectively.


In terms of education, average schooling reaches 8,5 years, which implies complete secondary school; however, 7% of those over 15 years of age is illiterate, and 5% of children under 14 years of age do not attend school.

Institutions of higher education include


Sinaloa is subdivided into 18 municipios (municipalities) See Municipalities of Sinaloa

The state's major cities include the capital Culiacánmarker, Mazatlánmarker, a tourist resort, and Los Mochismarker, an agricultural center.


The main productive activities of Sinaloa are agriculture, fishing, drugs, livestock breeding, commerce and industry. The products obtained from these activities are used for both local and national consumption. Agriculture produces tomatoes, beans, corn, wheat, sorghum, potatoes, soybeans, sugarcane and squash. Sinaloa is the most prominent state in Mexico in terms of agriculture, and additionally has the second largest fishing fleet. Livestock produces meat, sausages, cheese and milk. Cannabis and Opium are also cultivated in high quantities in this region.

Government and politics

The current governor of Sinaloa is Attorney Jesus Aguilar Padilla (PRI), elected for the period 2005-2010. The state is represented in Mexico City by three senators: Francisco Labastida Ochoa (PRI), María Serrano Serrano (PRI), Mario López Valdéz (PAN) and by eight deputies: 6 of the Party of the Democratic Revolution and 2 of the National Action Party.

Notable people

See also

  • Chinola, Mexican slang word used to define some specific individuals from Sinaloa


Line notes

External links

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